From drilling to flaring, natural gas has become the buzz word in North Dakota.
Many farmers are wondering if a larger supply of natural gas will impact future fertilizer prices and supplies.
Ag Reporter Sarah Gustin has the story.
It's become a growing industry across the nation.
(Laura Kubitz / The Fertilizer Institute) "In the past 3 years, 26 companies have announced 38 new projects for nitrogen production facilities."
That's according Laura Kubitz with The Fertilizer Institute.
While it's good news for farmers, Kubitz says it's going to take some time for those companies to get on board.
(Laura Kubitz / The Fertilizer Institute) "There is a lot of other factors that go into nitrogen production besides the availability of natural gas. It's hard to say if there will be more available in 2014, especially because a lot of these facilities are not turn key. You can't push a button and expect them to come back on line. It takes at least 3 years for them to come up and running and available."
Joe Brincks with Alliance Ag in Bismarck expects fertilizer supplies to be tight this spring because not much application got done this fall.
(Joe Brincks / Alliance Ag) "I believe in the spring with the granular fertilizer it is going to be tight. More guys are going to it and with the late fall there wasn't much application, so it's going to be another busy spring."
(Sarah Gustin / email@example.com) "While fertilizer supplies may be tight this spring. One plus is a lower price. Brincks says that this anhydrous tank will cost a farmer about 1200 dollars less compared to last spring."
Brincks says so far only about 25% of their customers have prepaid their fertilizer for this coming spring.
(Joe Brincks / Alliance Ag) "It has been down this year a little bit. Just with all the crop being out in the field. Their money is still out in the field versus in the bank right now, so it has been a little slower."
Brincks says the last week of the year is always the busiest for prepaying.
Roughly 85% of the nation's nitrogen supply is imported.
Kubitz says Natural Gas is in high demand.
It's not only a major ingredient in making fertilizer but it is also used by many other manufacturing companies.